Helen’s work considers the impacts of computation on social and environmental justice and how these impacts configure the possibilities for life—or who gets to have a life—in intimate and significant ways. As a practitioner she works together with others to make propositions and designs for computing otherwise–developing methods to uphold a politics of queer survival and environmental practice. Helen is the co-editor of DataBrowser 06: Executing Practices (2018) and Science,Technology and Human Values: Sensors and Sensing Practices (2019).
She regularly collaborates with Winnie Soon on software art and writing machines; and together with Femke Snelting and Jara Rocha, she activates The Underground Division, an action-research collective that investigates technologies of subsurface rendering and its imaginations. The Underground Division bugs contemporary regimes of volumetrics that are applied to extractivist, computationalist and geologic damages. It is an ongoing hands-on situation for device making, tool problematizing and “holing in gaug”.
Helen has extensive experience in working with participatory and creative practice methods for co-research, drawing on feminist and queer approaches. Since 2013 Helen has been a member of “Citizen Sense“, an award winning group investigating the relationship between technologies and practices of environmental sensing and citizen engagement. She is also a co-organiser of The Institute for Technology in the Public Interest (TITiPi), together they convene communities to hold computational infrastructures to account and to create spaces for articulating what technologies in the “public interest” might be.
Helen was previously the Head of Digital Art and lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths University of London. As an artist and academic Helen has given keynotes, public talks and has shown work internationally including FACT (UK), Furtherfield (UK), Tetem (NL), Sonic Acts (NL), Tate Exchange (UK),transmediale (Germany), DA Fest International festival of Digital Art,(Bulgaria), Spacex (UK), Microwave Festival (Hong Kong), ACA Florida, (USA), Arnolfini Online (UK). Helen received her PhD from Queen Mary University of London.
Current research projects include:
“Infrastructural Interactions”. Funded by Human Data Interaction:Legibility, Agency, Negotiability’ Network Plus, UK EPSRC.
“Technology in the Public Interest”. Funded by Research Communities Funding: COVID-19 / Quintin Hogg Trust.
“Multispecies Methods for Solidarity Stories — Using Multispecies Digital Storytelling for Sustainable Change by engaging with Decolonial and Anti-Racist Strategies” in collaboration with Cassandra Troyan (Linnaeus University). Funded by Linnaeus University Internationalization grant 20/21.
“Bionic Natures”. Funded by Oslo School of Environmental Humanities (OSEH).
Current PhD Students
Pete Jiadong Qiang. “Queer Maximalism HyperBody”.
Clareese Grace Hill. “Post-Identity Phenomenology and Digitally Mediated Disruptions”.
Alice Stevens. “Design Education for sustainability”